Construction of the first St. Benedict Church at 512 East Broadway took place in 1864, with Rev. Clement Lowery supervising the project. The stones for the church were hauled from McGregor by area farmers, a distance of fifty miles. The completed cost of the church the church $7,000. The land for the parish cemetery was also purchased under the direction of Father Lowery.
In September of 1885, the Sisters of Mercy opened their first school outside of Cedar Rapids on John Street in Decorah with five sisters service as teachers for grades 1-12. The high school closed in 1919. Construction of the present St. Benedict Church took place in 1917, under the direction of Rev. Martin Hogan. The cost was $60,000 and the parish consisted of about 100 families. The propertiy next to the chuch was acquired for a rectory and in 1992, a new parish center and rectory was built on that land.
From Dubuque Diocese book.
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